Monday, December 14, 2009

Bajaj Scooters - The End of a Era.....

End of the road for Bajaj scooters - Times of India

For Bajaj Auto, it’s a case of looking to the future rather than the past. But consumers who remember India before liberalization will probably feel pangs of nostalgia at the announcement that Bajaj Auto is set to stop making scooters. ( Watch Video )

Many can still recall the days when waiting lists for Bajaj scooters stretched into years, with people willing to pay a premium equal to the original cost to get hold of one. The sturdy vehicles were much sought after as wedding gifts; strings were often pulled and quotas invoked to speed up the allotment. Once the world’s biggest player in scooters, selling over a lakh units monthly in its heyday, Bajaj’s long-running advertising campaign described ‘hamara Bajaj’ as the symbol of a resurgent India.

But rather than look into the rearview mirror, Bajaj Auto is focusing on the road ahead. Bajaj Auto managing director Rajiv Bajaj announced on Wednesday that the company was all set to bid adieu to the segment as it concentrates on motorcycles, in line with its ambitions of emerging as the world’s biggest bikemaker ahead of Honda. ‘‘We have an opportunity to shoot for something... to be the largest motorcycle maker in the world,’’ Bajaj said as he announced growth plans for the motorcycle segment.

While the greater potential in the motorcycle segment may be one of the reasons prompting Bajaj to exit the scooter market, the company’s listless performance in scooters would certainly be among the other compelling reasons behind the withdrawal, expected by the end of this fiscal.

Bajaj has seen its scooter volumes drop to barely a couple of hundreds per month. The company, which dominated the scooter market with geared brands like Chetak and Super, suffered in the 1990s with the coming of motorcycles in the market that were not only more stylish and appealing but they also offered greater mileage.

“We want to become a motorcycle specialist and do not want to distract ourselves by scooters and mopeds... we cannot get greedy and try to do everything,” Bajaj said. “We are not developing scooters. We have no scooter on the drawing board.” 

Bajaj Auto to stop production of Scooters....

The iconic Bajaj scooter will soon be history with the company deciding to stop its production to focus exclusively on the motorcycle market. The two-wheeler giant will exit the scooter segment by the end of 2009-10 financial year, Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj said in New Delhi on Wednesday.
According to Rajiv Bajaj the company is aiming to become a "motorcycle specialist" and cannot make scooters. He made the announcement and launching a new motorcycle - Pulsar 135 LS. The company currently produces three million motorcycles per annum as against just about 12,000 scooters per year, most of which is exported. ''The scooters did not sell according to our expectations...Now our focus is on motorcycles,'' he said.
The company, at present, sells just one scooter that is the 100-cc gearless Crystal.
Source - IBN Live

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